Joe Watson -- Salon Bandit, Jail Poet and Former New Times Writer -- Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison


watson mug shot.jpg
Image: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
Joe Watson, former New Times writer, will be more remembered for his role as the "Salon Bandit." Last week, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
​Joe Watson's gonna have a lot of time to work on his poetry-for-snacks business.

The former writer for New Times, (who also spent time scratching for the Arizona Republic and East Valley Tribune) was sentenced last week to 12 years in prison for his role as the "Salon Bandit."

Like other criminals who begin their incarceration in Maricopa County, Watson was probably somewhat relieved to end his stay in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's lawsuit-inspiring jail and move up to the relatively good life in prison. (Amazing as it sounds, we hear that the slop in prison is like gourmet food compared to the green baloney and other trash they serve in jail). Because he was deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial for months, Watson spent about 2 1/2 years in county lock-up -- much longer than average.

Not that we're crying for him. Though Watson was a talented writer, he terrified the women he robbed. Prosecutors never claimed he used a gun during the robberies, but the "Salon Bandit" told at least one victim he might shoot her. In another robbery, Watson told a woman "it wouldn't be good" for her if she didn't comply.


Watson's found a new career behind bars: As we related in July, Watson told MSNBC's Lockup that he's been earning snacks in jail by writing poetry for inmates, who use it to impress their uneducated girlfriends.

We're hoping that when he leaves prison many years from now, it's his poetry and writing skills that will be improved -- and not his robbery techniques.


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JOe was quite the star on Lockup Raw show while in County jail..guess he's moved on to the big house since then.  Whats wrong with that guy?


As a former writer with Watson, I could see that he would do anything to anyone to get to where he wanted...Mentally incompetent is BS!This guy needed money and didn't care how he got it.It's good to see he's following along Charles Manson's footsteps and writing poetry in prison.

Barney Phife
Barney Phife

What kind of future is there for the girlfriend of a jail inmate, I wonder? Seems maybe those fine ladies could be looking for a guy who doesn't victimize others for his personal gain... just a thought..


YOU ARE A MORON!!!!!! He is my Brother and I've known him longer than any of you judgmental, pretentious, attention craving monsters !!!! I directly challenge you to back up your bs!!!!!!!

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